- 16201 Wall St. [HAR]
TEXAS SUPREME COURT: FLOOD CONTROL AGENCY DIDN’T CAUSE WHITE OAK FLOODING BY NOT CONTROLLING IT On Friday the state’s highest court reversed course on a class-action lawsuit filed by White Oak Bayou-adjacent homeowners flooded by turn-of-the-century storms including Allison, writes Mike Morris. Gabrielle Banks previously reported that some 200-plus families living along the upper reaches of bayou between Jersey Village and Houston Rosslyn Rd. had been asking for a collective $85 million or so to make up for flood damage and property devaluation they say was caused by the agency not completing some planned detention projects that haven’t gotten expected federal funding. The court decided last fall that the plaintiff’s case was strong enough to warrant a juried trial — at which point more than a dozen city and state government bodies filed letters asking it to please reconsider. Friday’s ruling came down in favor of the flood control agency, though the 4 dissenting judges wrote that the organization knew approved upstream development would lead to flooding without the planned projects, and therefore caused flooding by not requiring enough mitigation. The ruling could impact the similar lawsuit recently filed by a group of Memorial-area homeowners against the city and TIRZ 17, though in that case the group Residents Against Flooding is asking for flood control-related action rather than money. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Map of White Oak Bayou watershed: Harris County Flood Control District
Light makes bright by day or night in this Jersey Village contemporary. Its bold colors further ramp up the lumens sneaking in from a plethora of windows. The grounds-hugging, mostly single-story property, which occupies more than half an acre across a low gate from privately owned Jersey Lake, has been on the market since May 2013. Its relisting by a new agency last week set a new asking price of $900,000. That’s down a few tads from previous listings, which began at $1.15 million, tiptoed to $1.099 million in September, and hit $945,000 in November.
ALSO SPLAIN ZUBINZARANZARIUS “By chance this morning, I needed to find a certain place in Houston. So I opened my trusty web browser and went to the main Google Maps page. I started zooming in . . . and at a certain level of zoom, a very funny word sort of popped out at me near Jersey Village – ‘Zubinzaranzarius.’ I zoomed in more, and it appears to be the name of a legitimate neighborhood — Zubinzaranzarius North. A quick Google search returned a bunch of websites offering to find a house, schools or spas near ‘Zubinzaranzarius North’ — but none of that confirmed the real existence of the location, since those sites probably just mine Google Maps data. Does such a funny-named locality really exist, or did a Google Maps programmer play a practical joke on Houstonians and Jersey Villagers, or did Google Maps get HACKED???” [Swamplot inbox]
THE MISSING LINK IN THE BIKE TRAIL FROM OAK FOREST TO DOWNTOWN After surveying a stretch of land mostly along White Oak Bayou from 11th St. to Lawrence Park, Chronicle blogger Martin Hajovsky says he doesn’t see any traffic problems that would stand in the way of a connection between the Katy/MKT hike-and-bike trail and the White Oak Bayou trail. A bayou-side hookup, which would create a continuous off-road path from Downtown to Oak Forest, is just one segment of grander bayou bikepath plans contained in the Bayou Greenway Initiative, which the Houston Parks Board is working on piece by piece. Adding the longer chunk planned along White Oak Bayou north of the current trail would extend the Downtown route all the way to Jersey Village. [Home in the Heights, via Off the Kuff; previously on Swamplot] Proposed Bayou Greenway map: Houston Parks Board
Parts of Jersey Village have been subsiding by about 2 inches a year, according to 2 UH professors and a former grad student who’ve been studying a decade’s worth of GPS data from 2 dozen area measurement points. Associate professor of geology Shuhab Khan, geology professor Kevin Burke, and former Ph.D. student Richard Engelkemeir note there’s been gradual subsidence in a “sprawling” 324-square-mile area of northwestern Harris County, but Jersey Village is the fastest to fall.
Just what is it that makes this little community so down-to-earth? Reports Khan:
The most likely reason for the sinking of Jersey Village is the withdrawal of water from deep beneath the surface. While groundwater withdrawal has ceased in most of the Houston area, it continues in the northwestern part of the county that has seen a rapid growth in population.
Continued subsidence, of course, will also help the entire northwest Houston area collect more water when it rains. But it isn’t all downhill for Houston.
Thanks to the reader who passed along this flyover video showing what a fat, happy, and rebuilt Highway 290 will look like as it wraps its newly grown tentacles around Beltway 8. The video comes from TxDOT’s fancy new my290.com website, which attempts to bring to the planned multi-billion-dollar highway widening program the feel-good vibe of a community barnraising. When construction begins in 2011, will we be able to follow the construction workers as they tweet?
The site features current maps and details of the plans for US 290 and the Hempstead Tollway. Notes the reader: “Looks like the NW mall is history, well, at least most of the parking lot.” Here’s a view:
We have a winner of that Rice Design Alliance membership!
First: your guesses in last week’s Neighborhood Guessing Game. We had “just outside the Loop,” Oak Forest, Katy, Olde Oaks, “Memorial/Dairy Ashford area” (2 guesses), the Memorial Villages, “somewhere south of I-10 and east of Highway 6,” “off Briar Forest between Dairy Ashford and Wilcrest,” south of Memorial City Mall, west of Bunker Hill between Hammerly and Memorial, Memorial close to Beltway 8, Kingwood, near Lake Houston, Bellaire, Westbury, Tanglewood, Meyerland (2), Riverside Terrace, Clear Lake (3), Braes Heights, Lakewood Forest, Brook Forest, Pinehurst, Humble, Wilchester, Westchester, Nottingham Forest, Nottingham VIIIage, Nottingham Country, “Nottingham something,” “around I-10 and the Beltway, Spring Shadows, south of I-10 “around the Gessner area,” Maplewood, Ashford Village area, 77077, Southgate, “near the Med Center,” Huntwick Forest (2), Quail Valley, “near the Costco on Bunker Hill,” near IKEA, Green Trails, Green Trail Estates, Champion Forest, Memorial Bend, “near off Memorial just east of Hwy. 6,” near Gessner south of Clay Rd., north of I-10, near Pinecrest Golf Course,” Sharpstown, “Braeburn area,” Katy near Katy-Hockley Rd., Baytown, Spring Creek Oaks, Mission Bend, West Bend, Walnut Bend, Northampton, Pasadena, Cypress, Jersey Village, Dickinson, Sugar Creek, near Hearthstone Country Club, Copperfield, Briar Meadow, Pearland, Memorial Northwest, River Oaks, and Texas City.
The winner of that one-year individual membership in the Rice Design Alliance? flake, for landing on Jersey Village! Congratulations, flake!
Want the details?
There was no furniture to ogle, but a lot of you liked this week’s contest!
Sugarland led the guesses with 5. Bellaire had 4, Katy had 3 (including one specifying Kelliwood), and so did the Energy Corridor. Champion Forest and Kingwood each had 2. The rest: West University, Mid Lane, Bay Oaks, Camp Logan, Sugar Creek, “south-ish and west-ish of the Galleria,” Jersey Village, “off Bering/Augusta between San Felipe and Woodway,” Clear Lake, Conroe, the Woodlands, “a suburb out 59 south,” Briarcroft, Champions, and Mission Bend.
The winner is karen, who pooled the helpful comments of many of you into this enthusiastic entry:
Well, you all have been very helpful! I definitely think this is a vintage ’80s home that has had a kitchen remodel and new floors put down on the first floor. I like that library upstairs, too. Too bad they couldn’t spring for a new master bath.
This home has got to be in the outer reaches and I’m guessing that they’re at the top of the market in their area. I still like Sugarland, but now we’ve got to add Katy and Jersey Village to mix as well. In fact, I like Jersey Village a lot.
Jersey Village to karen: You like us. You really, really like us! Hey, didn’t karen win an earlier match too?
So what helpful comments was karen referring to? Perhaps this Houston real-estate maxim spouted by kjb434:
If all of the first floor is non-carpeted, then I’ll say it’s in a flood-proned area!
. . . and this comment by David W:
Looks like late 80’s/early 90’s to me but with only a light cosmetic update. It still has corian counters and that cultured marble vanity in the bathroom but they added the kooky fans and plantation shutters. It must have been pretty expensive when new to have a Sub-Zero, but I bet it is not in a hot neighborhood or they would have invested in more updates.
. . . both of which win honorable mentions!
After the jump: the full Jersey Village reveal!